Chill Out: Winter Sports in the Valley

Baby, it’s cold outside! But no matter what season it is, Valley dwellers love to get outdoors and play. Whether you’re a skier or a skater; an ice fisher or boater; we’ve got the lowdown on cool places to stay active this winter



ICE BOATING

If you’ve ever found yourself down in the Tivoli Bays in mid-January you may have beheld a strange and breathtaking sight — majestic white sails speeding across the ice. Most people wouldn’t know that ice boating was born here in the Hudson Valley or that the region remains the mainstay of authentic ice boating in the country. The Hudson River Ice Yacht Club (HRIYC) — which was organized by FDR’s cousin, John A. Roosevelt, in 1885 — keeps the rich tradition of ice boating alive here by sailing traditional wooden yachts, some as old as the sport itself.

A man named Oliver Booth of Poughkeepsie reportedly built the first recreational ice boat in 1790. Similar boats were used by the Dutch in Holland for transportation purposes, but Booth’s crude ice box outfitted with a sail and runners was made for speed and fun. It wasn’t until about 1860 that the sport gained widespread popularity. Considered a rich man’s hobby, men like Roosevelt would hire skippers to captain their boats as they engaged in friendly rivalry racing on the Hudson. The exception to that rule was Archibald Rogers who sailed his own boat, the Jack Frost. At 50 feet long and 2,000 pounds, with 700 square feet of sail, the Jack Frost was the Valley’s largest ice yacht, and today is still maintained and sailed by the HRIYC.

By the turn of the 20th century the design of ice boats had been greatly refined. Today the sport’s most popular model is the DN boat — a lightweight, one-person rig named for the Detroit News-sponsored competition that introduced the design. “You can really chase the ice with a DN,” says John Sperr, an ice yachting enthusiast and member of the HRIYC. “We don’t get ice like we used to [on the Hudson] because of the big barges, climate change, and the warm water discharge from all the power plants.” With the requisite ice — six inches in a bay or 12 out on the river — harder and harder to come by, the appeal of easily portable boats like the DN has won out in many places over the bigger, old-fashioned rigs.

Yacht clubs like the HRIYC exclusively run the old style, gaff rigged boats: Four-sided sails are rigged high off a mast that sits atop a long timber backbone on two runners. There is a small cockpit for the driver, and a steering runner on the stern end. “We’re like a living history museum,” says Sperr. “You see a lot of Kevlar sails and carbon fiber out West these days, but we try to keep it authentic. We try to discourage people from making repairs to their boats with stainless steel, try to get them to use old wrought-iron hardware, stay with old galvanized wire rope, to use the original materials.” Though many members own their own boats (there are about 30 working yachts in the Valley), the club retains ownership of two historic boats: Archie Rogers’ Jack Frost, and the Whiff, an opulent show boat that once boasted lily-white linen sails and red velvet cushions. Commodore Irving Grinnell — a millionaire from New Hamburg — commissioned it in 1875 to be displayed at the Philadelphia Centennial Exhibition.

Despite requiring upwards of 10 people to get it off the trailer and onto the ice, the Jack Frost can move at about 100 miles per hour. This winter, the HRIYC will race Jack Frost against Rocket, a long-awaited new boat built by the Red Bank Yacht Club of New Jersey (another enclave of ice boating on the East Coast). At stake is the historic Van Nostrand Cup, a silver trophy manufactured by Tiffany’s, put up in 1888 by a member of Newburgh’s Orange Lake Ice Yacht Club. The cup has been held in New Jersey by the Red Bank club for several decades, and the HRIYC is eager to bring it home. “They think they own it,” Sperr jokes.

The ice boating season is short, beginning on January first and peaking around Valentine’s Day. Because the ice boats must be run on snowless ice of a certain thickness, enthusiasts usually get only a week’s worth of good days all year long. When the river is good, they can be found off Barrytown, or sometimes near Athens in Greene County. Otherwise they use Tivoli Bays, though the ice there is increasingly variable. The HRIYC offers free rides to the public on appropriate days; to find out when and where, check the Current Conditions page at www.hryic.org.

The Wreck of the Galatea
John Sperr fell in love with ice boating on Valentine’s Day in 1982, after a friend gave him a ride off Barrytown. “I came back every day, and have been there ever since,” he states. Sometime after that, he and fellow boater Reid Bielenberg began acquiring the various parts to rebuild the historic Galatea. The two men set out to restore the old backbone, putting a lot of new wood into it, making parts. “Eventually we got distracted, moved onto other things,” Sperr admits. And so the boat languished in Bielenberg’s workshop for nearly 30 years — until last fall, when he decided to finish the iron- and woodworking and bring it down to Tivoli Bays for its first ride since 1914.

As Sperr remembers, it was a beautiful day. He had the Galatea out on the ice, and was giving a woman from New York City a ride. “All of a sudden it started dragging. The running plank just snapped in half and over we went onto the ice. The mast came down, the cockpit rolled 90 degrees, there were boots flying.” Thankfully neither Sperr nor his passenger were hurt, so the pair secured the sails and waited for the rescue party. “Within five to 10 minutes there were 25-plus people gathered around to help,” Sperr recalls. “The sail makes a lot of noise coming down, it’s quite dramatic, but it’s not a particularly dangerous thing.”

It was discovered that a knot in the runner plank had been hidden from view, and the flaw — under stress from use — just broke. The boat was lashed together and pushed home. It had been almost 100 years since the Galatea had last been on the ice.

The Northern Light turns the stake in the race for the Ice-Yacht Challenge Pennant of America, held on Feb. 14, 1887 in Poughkeepsie

 

 

CROSS-COUNTRY SKIING

Road cycling has skyrocketed in popularity over the past few years. It seems the shoulder of every scenic road in the Valley is occupied by at least one rider pedaling away in the warmer months. But as freezing temperatures, snow, and icy winds creep in, cyclists — at least the most devoted — are relegated to riding the rollers in their living rooms to keep up their fitness. That is, unless they’re out cross-country skiing.

Turns out that in addition to being a super family friendly winter activity, cross-country skiing is the preferred winter sport for many athletes, like Rob Kelley and his friends. While in the more temperate months Kelley is an avid mountain biker and cyclist, come winter he eschews the seemingly more obvious choice of downhill skiing for the Nordic variety. And that’s because it’s hard. “Cross-country skiing is all about the workout,” Kelley enthuses. In the winter, Kelley’s bike shop, Pawling Cycles, specializes in cross-country equipment and rentals. For the cost of one pair of downhill skis, you can buy cross-country skis, boots, bindings, poles, and a day pass to one of the area’s local Nordic ski centers, like Fahnestock. At the popular Cold Spring facility, the daily trail fee is just $9 for adults, $6 for kids; rentals (including boots and poles) are $16. Group lessons run $17 per person; private lessons are $30.

There are two types of Nordic skis: classic and skate. Classic skis are long, parallel skis, and are the best way to get into the sport, according to Kelley. They fare well on ungroomed terrain, and their straightforward back-and-forth glide makes them easier to get the hang of. “You can go right out in your backyard with classic skis,” Kelley says. The shorter, thinner skate skis are built for speed and for use on groomed trails.

The Hudson Valley has several Nordic ski centers, the most popular being Fahnestock and those at Mohonk and Minnewaska state parks. There you’ll have your choice of terrain; everything from flat, wide beginner trails to more remote, challenging routes. Even if you’re just heading for a lap around Fahnestock’s Field Loop, Kelley recommends you bring your A-game. “It’s not really enjoyable unless you have reasonable fitness,” he admits. Unlike downhill skiing, there is no gravity helping you along. And you may do as much ascending as you do descending; there are no chair lifts.

In addition to the cross-country facilities, Kelley highlights Pawling’s Lakeside Park and the golf course at the James Beard Foundation for classic skiing, and the Great Swamp in Patterson which is perfect for skate skiing when if freezes, though that’s usually only one month a year. “The only problem we have locally is that we’re in the ice belt — we haven’t gotten great snow these last five years or so,” laments Kelley. “Still, we get a few dozen days, even in an off year.”

Caption: Mohonk Mountain House in New Paltz offers one of the area’s most popular Nordic ski centers

Cross-Country Ski Sites

(Most cross-country facilities list distances in kilometers)

GROOMED TRAILS
Belleayre Mountain
Highmount. 800-942-6904;
State-run downhill skiing venue has 5.6 miles (9.02 kilometers) of intermittently groomed trails

Fahnestock Winter Park
Cold Spring. 845-225-3998;
Fifteen kilometers (9.3 miles) of groomed trails plus lake; suitable for all abilities. Lodge with food (delicious chili), rentals, lessons

High Point Cross-Country Ski Center
High Point State Park, NJ. 973-702-1222;
Nine miles (15 kilometers) of groomed trails for all levels. Rentals, lessons, and certified ski patrols available. Just over the border from Orange County

Minnewaska State Park Preserve
Kerhonkson.
845-255-0752;
Twenty miles (32 kilometers) of carriageways of intermittently groomed trails; warming yurt adjacent to upper parking lot; incredible rock formations and views

Mohonk Mountain House
New Paltz.
845-256-2101 ski shop,
845-256-2197 for updates on trails and conditions;
Thirty-five miles (56 kilometers) of groomed trails with magnificent vistas; rentals, lessons

Mountain Trails
Tannersville.
518-589-5361
Thirty-five kilometers (21.7 miles) of groomed trails; rentals; lessons; open weekends and holiday weeks when conditions permit; warming hut, snack bar

UNGROOMED TRAILS
Bear Mountain State Park
Bear Mountain.
845-786-2701;
Cross-country trails are open all winter in the Anthony Wayne Recreation Area

Clermont State Historic Site
Germantown. 518-537-4240;
Five miles (8 kilometers) of carriage trails

Great Swamp
Six thousand-acre wetland owned by the Nature Conservancy spans Dutchess and Putnam counties

Lakeside Park
Pawling. 845-851-1131
Three hundred-acre town park

James Baird State Park
Pleasant Valley.
845-452-1489;
Seven miles (11.2 kilometers) of trails and nearby golf course

Mills-Norrie State Park & Dinsmore Golf Course
Staatsburg. 845-889-4646;
Numerous trails, carriage roads, fields, and golf course

CLUBS
Hudson Valley Ski Club
845-227-1123
Downhill and cross-country organization

Pawling Cycle & Sport
845-855-9866
Offers a weather-dependent January clinic; call ahead

 

 

ICE FISHING

Though wacky winter weather (thanks to global climate change) may have foiled the outdoor plans of most winter sports enthusiasts on too many days these last few years, ice fishermen (or women) are not one of them. Ice fishing may be the one winter sport where a lack of snowfall, freezing cold, and biting wind makes for ideal conditions — once a little pond gets just a half inch of ice, it’ll start to freeze over as long as it doesn’t get rained or heavily snowed upon. Ryan Coulter, an aquatic biologist with the Department of Environmental Conservation’s Fisheries Unit in New Paltz (and an avid ice fisher) claims the conditions have been primo, and the seasons long. “Last year I was fishing Chodikee Lake before Christmas, and I usually can’t get out there until January,” he says. “In Lake George, too — people haven’t been able to get out there in years, but last year you could.”

Ice fishing is one of the fastest growing enclaves of fishing. While many might think simply of a man sitting solo in the cold, a lone line dangling from frozen fingers through a hole in the ice, the sport is actually quite productive, and very socially- and family-oriented. “It’s a great way to spend time with friends and family,” Coulter says. “Unlike a boat which only fits so many people, you can have a whole group out on the ice.” There are a few different styles of ice fishing, which all involve boring a hole through the ice with an auger and dangling bait to entice the fish to bite. Some people choose to use multiple holes at once, making use of tip-ups (which raise a flag when something is tugging on the line) to maximize their time on the ice. Others may choose to sit patiently around one hole, waiting for a bite. On thick ice that promises to last a long time, shanties can be constructed to offer shelter — these days, a number of companies manufacture portable pop-up shelters.

“One of the best things about ice fishing in the Valley is that there are so many different water bodies — big reservoirs to small ponds — and a good mix of fish species to catch,” says Coulter. Those species include bass, trout, perch, and panfish. Big Pond in Delaware County holds bass and trout in the same habitat, which is very rare. “Smaller ponds are better for people just starting off,” Coulter encourages. “And safety first, always.” For first-timers Coulter recommends going with a guide or experienced fisherman, though he recommends the buddy system for anyone who plans to spend time on the ice. Always check the ice with an auger or spud bar before walking out — a minimum of three to four inches is recommended. And dress properly, paying extra attention to your head, hands, and feet.

Local ice fishing enthusiast Ryan Coulter shares some of his favorite Valley spots by county:

Dutchess
Sylvan Lake
Upton Lake
Stissing Pond

Putnam
White Pond
East Branch Reservoir
Lake Gilead

Westchester
Muscoot Reservoir
Amawalk Reservoir
Cross River

Ulster
Chodikee Lake
Onteora Lake
Sullivan White Lake
Swinging Bridge Reservoir
Morningside Lake
Lake Huntington
Orange Greenwood Lake

For a full list of DEC-approved ice fishing locations, visit www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor

 

 

ICE SKATING

The best thing about ice skating in the Hudson Valley is it’s just the most amazing setting,” says Linda Magnusson-Rosario, an avid skater and president of the Hessian Lake Figure Skating Club, which meets at the Bear Mountain Ice Rink. It was there that Magnusson-Rosario fell back in love with the sport, something she hadn’t done since childhood. “Any adult who hasn’t skated in awhile should. There’s just a wonderful sense of grace, power, and glide,” she urges. “That look of pure joy a kid gets on their face? That’s what you get.”

Ready to strap on a pair of skates and brave a few turns around the ice? There are a number of diverse skating venues throughout the Valley. Bear Mountain, Windham Mountain, and the Pavilion at Mohonk Mountain House offer open-air skating, while several indoor rinks host year-round hockey and figure skating. And both Lake Taghkanic State Park and Polly Pond at Downing Park in Newburgh allow skating in appropriate conditions (though be forewarned: the ice is not groomed).

The Valley is also home to many other small ponds and lakes ideal for skating, but before you barrel out onto the ice to get your Kristi Yamaguchi on, check to see if the site has been designated as a safe-skating area by your town Parks and Recreation facility. If there are no signs indicating its safety, look for somewhere else to skate. In the unfortunate possibility you find yourself on cracking ice, lie down to spread out your weight and wait for help. And never try to rescue someone who has fallen through the ice — call 911.

Bear Mountain Ice Rink
Bear Mountain State Park.
845-786-2701, ext. 266;
www.bearmountainicerink.com
Adults $4; Children (4-11) $3. Skate rental $4 a pair. Open through March 6, 2011.
Public sessions: Mon.,Tues., Fri.-Sun.
See Web site for times.
Skate under the open sky, surrounded by mountains, at the Valley’s largest open-air rink. Take the kids to the beautiful hand painted carousel featuring scenes from the park and 42 hand carved seats of native animals. Ice hockey, birthday parties, private sessions, the Hessian Lake Figure Skating Club, and rentals are offered.

McCann Ice Arena
Mid-Hudson Civic Center, Poughkeepsie. 845-454-5800, ext. 212;
www.midhudsonciviccenter.com
Open year-round. Public sessions:
Mon.-Tues. 12-2 p.m.; Fri. 12-2 p.m.
& 7:15-9 p.m.; Sat.-Sun. 2-4 p.m.
There’s something happening for every member of the family at this large Dutchess County facility, including: Open freestyle sessions for advanced figure skaters, six days a week; advanced freestyle classes; learn to skate programs for kids, teens, and adults; Mommy & Me skating classes; Sticks n’ Pucks open hockey sessions; speed skating clinics; birthday parties; Dutchess Figure Skating Club; a pro shop; ice hockey lessons; and Friday Nite DJ Skate.

Mohonk Mountain House
New Paltz. 845-256-2776; www.mohonk.com/recreation/ice_skating.cfm
Open through early April. Call for schedule and pricing information.
This unique open-sided pavilion ice rink features wooden roof beams, stone columns, and a statuesque 39-foot stone fireplace. Birthday parties, lessons, skating exhibitions, curling, broomball, and a skate shop are offered.
ICE SKATING (CONTINUED)

Conway Ice Rink
Hudson Valley Community College, Troy.
518-629-4850;
www.hvcc.edu/facilities/ice.html
Open through March 13, 2011. Adults $3, children (2-17) & seniors (65 and up) $2. Skate rental $3. Public sessions: Mon.-Fri. 12-2 p.m., Sat.-Sun. 4-6:15 p.m.
This Capital Region facility has 18,000 square feet of ice. Learn to skate programs for beginners and intermediate skaters are offered through the college, along with weekend and evening skating lessons, a skate shop, and birthday parties. Group discounts are available.

Brewster Ice Arena
Brewster. 845-279-2229;
www.brewstericearena.com
Open year-round. Adults $7, children (under 12) $5. Skate rental $3. Public sessions: Daily, check Web site for seasonal schedule information.
This massive northern Westchester ice mecca is open all year and has three separate ice rinks, a restaurant, and a gym, among many other amenities: a skating school with hockey clinics, group lessons, Future Rangers Beginner Hockey and Mini-Mite program, birthday parties, the Skating Club of Brewster, Recreational In-House and Travel Hockey Teams for adults and teens, Players Restaurant & Bar, and a pro shop.

Ice Time Sports Complex
Newburgh. 845-567-0005;
www.icetimesports.com
Open year-round. Adults $8, children (5-12) $5. Skate rental $3. Public sessions: Tues. & Thurs. 11 a.m.-1 p.m.; Wed. 3:45-4:45 p.m.; Fri. 7:15-9 p.m.; Sat. 2-5:30 p.m.; Sun. 2-3:45 p.m.
This Newburgh sports facility runs skating programs all year. Don’t miss their Annual Holiday Showcase, Dec. 11, 6-8 p.m. Available activities include adult open hockey, birthday parties, learn to skate programs for children and adults, figure skating freestyle sessions, the Hudson Valley Figure Skating Club, youth and adult hockey programs and clinics, Sticks n’ Pucks, the Rink Side Sports Café, and a pro shop.

Windham Mountain Adventure Park
Windham. 518-734-6974;
www.windhammountain.com/mountain/skating
Open through March 21, 2011. Adults $10.
Skate rental $5. Public sessions: Daily, 10 a.m.-12 p.m., 1-3 p.m., 4-6 p.m., and 7-9 p.m.
This quaint open air skating area is located right near Windham’s famous snow tubing. Warm up next to the open-air fire pit.

 

 

SKIING & SNOWBOARDING

Sure, Vermont has some amazing ski resorts just a few hours away. But did you know that right here in the Hudson Valley we have 10 local ski areas — from the tiny Sawkill, one of the smallest facilities on the East Coast, right up to the big and bustling Hunter Mountain, which this year debuts the first six-person chair lift in New York State. So whether you’re seeking world-class terrain, free beginner lessons in a family-friendly environment, or even an arcade with a mechanical bull to keep the kiddies content, it’s time to hop in the car and head to the slopes. Let it snow!

Belleayre Mountain
Highmount.
845-254-5600; www.belleayre.com
Vital Stats:
# of trails: 52 # of lifts: 8 (two quads, one triple, two doubles, three handle tows) Skiable acres: 171 Longest run: 12,024 feet Vertical drop: 1,404 feet
Full-day weekend ticket: $54 adults; $44 youth 13-18; $38 children six through 12
Beyond trails: Five glades, one rail park, one terrain park, and one progression park
Amenities include: Skiing and snowboarding; Nastar race course and a race team; Kidscamp and day care; ski school; and four lodges featuring full-service cafeterias, party and meeting facilities, a cocktail lounge, and ski shops.
Discount lift tickets: Every Wed. and Fri., and on select Sun. with Potter Brothers’ “flex days” (purchase passes at Potter Brothers’ stores and receive a discount; the first flex day is December 19).
Upcoming Events:
Dec. 20: Hanukkah Candle Lighting Ceremony
Dec. 25: Pictures and Skiing with Santa Claus
Jan. 22: Kids’ Winter Carnival and Torchlight Parade
Jan. 24: Taste of the Town

Catamount
Hillsdale. 518-325-3200;
South Egremont, Massachusetts. 413-528-1262;
www.catamountski.com
Vital Stats:
# of trails: 32 (including park areas) # of lifts: 6 (one quad, one triple, two doubles, one wonder carpet, one handle tow) Skiable acres: about 119 Longest run: 2.5 miles Vertical drop: 1,000 feet
Full-day weekend lift ticket: $59 adults; $27 seniors and youth seven through 13; $25 children under seven
Best après-ski treat: Fondue at the Swiss Hutte across the street.
Cheap — and steep — thrills: Don’t miss the double-black-diamond trail, Catapult, one of the steepest runs in the Northeast.
Terrain park: Includes a 400-foot half pipe, jumps, jibs, an 800-foot boardercross, and a Junior Jib park for terrain park beginners.
Amenities include: Skiing, snowboarding, night skiing (Wed.-Sat.), racing and freestyle teams, adaptive skiing/snowboarding program, two lodges, a ski shop, ski and snowboard instruction, a tavern and cafeteria, and a children’s playroom.
Events:
Dec. 8 & 9: Scout Days
Jan. 8: USASA Giant Slalom & Slope style
Jan. 29: USASA Boarder cross/ Skier cross
Jan. 30: USASA Half pipe

Plattekill Mountain
Roxbury. 607-326-3500;
www.plattekill.com
Vital Stats:
# of trails: 35 # of lifts: 3 (one triple, one double, one handle tow) Longest run: 2 miles Vertical drop: 1,100 feet
Full-day weekend lift ticket: $46
Best specials: Dec. 16-17: Learn to ski for free, photos with Santa; Jan. 5, Feb. 9, Mar. 9: $10 lift tickets for first 100 skiers; Jan. 22-26: $10 lift tickets
Terrain park: Includes Lowerface and Shredded Moz
Amenities include: Skiing, snowboarding, snowtubing; private and group lessons; childcare; and a race camp.Twenty-two recently added tower-mounted snow guns put more snow on the trails in less time. Children’s ski school programs have been increased, including new advanced lessons for children four through eight. Also, this season children under seven ski free.
Events:
Dec. 11-12: Learn to Ski or Ride Free
Jan. 22: Plattekill Kids Cup Races
Feb. 13: Catskill Mountain Snowboard Series Giant Slalom & Slalom Snowboard Races
Feb. 24: Crazy Hat Day. $10 off your lift ticket when you show off your craziest hat.

Holiday Mountain
Ski and Fun Park
Monticello; 845-796-3161
www.holidaymtn.com
Vital Stats:
# of trails: 7 # of lifts: 4 Skiable acres: 60 Longest run: 4,100 feet Vertical drop: 400 feet
Full-day weekend lift ticket: $42
Don’t miss: Their many specials include $14 lift tickets for the ladies on Tues. afternoons and $14 for the gents on Wed. afternoons. Fri. nights a family of four can go tubing for $30.
Amenities include: Skiing, snowboarding, tubing, lessons, ice skating, a cafeteria, an arcade, bumper cars — and even a mechanical bull.

Sawkill Family Ski Center
Kingston. 845-336-6977;
www.sawkillski.com
Vital Stats:
# of trails: 2 # of lifts: 2 (including a hand tow and a 450-foot carpet lift) Longest run: 1,000 feet Vertical drop: 70 feet
Full-day lift ticket: Please call for price (although generally budget-friendly, costs for this season were unavailable at press time).
Don’t miss: Delicious hot cocoa.
Terrain Park: New improvements this year bring exciting challenges for boarders and skiers.
Amenities include: Skiing, snowboarding, tubing, a ski shop, and a snack bar. A new snowtubing run has been added to the mountain this season. Also, a carpet lift, which helps beginner skiers reach the top of the mountain without ski lifts, has been added. Sawkill is open only on weekends and holidays.

Thunder Ridge
Patterson. 845-878-4100;
www.thunderridgeski.com
Vital Stats:
# of trails: 30 # of lifts: 5 (two doubles, one triple, one T-Bar, one handle tow) Skiable acres: 100 Longest run: 1 mile Vertical drop: 500 feet
Full-day weekend lift ticket: $48 adults; $35 seniors and youth six and older; $10 children under six
Terrain park: Enough to challenge enthusiasts of all levels.
Amenities include: Skiing, night skiing, snowboarding, a ski shop, a cafeteria, ski and snowboard instruction, racing teams for ages six to 19, babysitting, and a free shuttle from the Metro North train station. A new magic carpet will be available this season to gently lift you up the mountain on a conveyor belt. Also, a state-of-the-art snow making system has been added, increasing snow coverage to more than 100 acres.
Events:
Feb. 11: Ladies’ Day: This first time event focuses on a day full of women specific activities. Former Olympian Lisa Densmore, will be in attendance. The day will also feature demonstrations on ski equipment specifically made for women, a ski clinic, and lunch.

Tuxedo Ridge
Tuxedo. 845-351-1122;
www.skituxedoridge.com
Vital Stats:
# of trails: 7 # of lifts: 4 Skiable acres: 35 Longest run: 2,750 feet Vertical drop: 400 feet
Full-day tickets: $50 adults on Sat. and holidays; $40 adults on Sun.
Don’t miss: $10 lift tickets on Tues. nights starting at 5 p.m.
Beyond trails: One terrain park, one half pipe, two jumps (15 feet and 35 feet), a corrugated bonk, corrugated cannon, 16-foot box rail, and two eight-foot boxrails. Private lessons are available.
Amenities include: Skiing, snowboarding, tubing, night skiing, and a cafeteria.
Events:
Jan. 1: Torchlight Parade
Jan. 2: Retro Ski Fest: Wear your ski garb from the ’60s, ’70s, ’80s, and ’90s
Feb. 9: Kids Pay Their Age Day: ages 18 and under
Feb. 13: Sno-waii Luau: A winter twist on a Hawaiian Luau

Windham Mountain
Windham. 518-734-4300;
www.windhammountain.com
Vital Stats:
# of trails: 46 # of lifts: 10 (two high-speed quads, four triples, one double, and three surface) Skiable acres: 267
Longest run: 12,500 feet Vertical drop: 1,600 feet
Full-day weekend lift ticket: $68 adults; $54 children seven and older; $10 children under seven
Best après-ski treat: Pick up a s’mores kit and head to the Patio BBQ.
Four terrain parks: Including a 600-foot halfpipe, rails, bumps, boxes, jibs, and tabletops.
Amenities include: Skiing, snowboarding, tubing, ice skating (with warming hut), night skiing on Fri. and Sat., slopeside (pet-friendly) hotel and condos, cafeterias, and several restaurants including Mexican, sushi, a café, and waffle and crepe huts.
Events:
Dec. 18-19: Dashing through the Snow and Skiing Santa Day: Sat. a bell choir will greet guests. Sun., all those dressed as Santa ski and ride free, $10 suggested donation, pre-registration required.
Jan. 22-23: 50th Anniversary Extravaganza and ’50s Bash featureing a vintage ski display, live band, fireworks, time capsule, and champagne toast. •

Hunter Mountain
Hunter; 1-800-HUNTERMTN;
www.huntermtn.com

Vital Stats:
# of trails: 55 # of lifts: 11 (one six-passenger, two quads, two triples, five doubles, one handle tow) Skiable acres: 240 Longest run: 2 miles Vertical drop: 1,600 feet
Full day weekend ticket: $65 adults; $59 ages 13-22; $45 seniors and children seven through 12; $10 children under 7
Best après ski treat: Head a few miles down the road to the little town of Tannersville and indulge in some down home goodness at the Last Chance Cheese shop — a restaurant and shop rolled into one.
Check out: The brand new six-passenger ski lift — the first one in New York State.
Save big bucks: Buy gas at participating Getty/Lukoil stations four times and receie a free lift ticket.
Two terrain parks: Include a half pipe, rails, and other features.
Amenities include: Three distinct ski areas plus snowboarding, tubing, snowshoeing; a ski shop; learning center; health spa; more than 10 eateries and three drink venues; day care services; slopeside lodging; and many area hotels, B&Bs, and inns.

Mount Peter Ski & Ride
Warwick. 845-986-4940;
www.mtpeter.com

Vital Stats:
# of trails: 9 # of lifts: 4 Skiable acres: 60 Longest run: 3,960 feet Vertical drop: 500 feet
Full-day weekend lift ticket: $40 adults; $31 juniors
Fun fact: The ski area was opened by Macy’s department store in 1936 to show off its ski and winter fashions.
Don’t miss: Their famous, free beginner ski and snowboard lessons.
Terrain park: Provides challenges for a variety of levels.
Amenities include: Skiing, snow-
boarding, night skiing, tubing, a lodge, tavern, shop, and racing programs for kids eight through 18.
Upcoming Events:
Dec. 19: Ski with Santa
Jan. 2: Tentative open race event
Feb. 2-7: 2nd Annual Winter Carnival

Bear Mountain Ice Rink
Bear Mountain State Park.
845-786-2701, ext. 266;
www.bearmountainicerink.com
Adults $4; Children (4-11) $3. Skate rental $4 a pair. Open through March 6, 2011.
Public sessions: Mon.,Tues., Fri.-Sun.
See Web site for times.
Skate under the open sky, surrounded by mountains, at the Valley’s largest open-air rink. Take the kids to the beautiful hand painted carousel featuring scenes from the park and 42 hand carved seats of native animals. Ice hockey, birthday parties, private sessions, the Hessian Lake Figure Skating Club, and rentals are offered.

McCann Ice Arena
Mid-Hudson Civic Center, Poughkeepsie. 845-454-5800, ext. 212;
www.midhudsonciviccenter.com
Open year-round. Public sessions:
Mon.-Tues. 12-2 p.m.; Fri. 12-2 p.m.
& 7:15-9 p.m.; Sat.-Sun. 2-4 p.m.
There’s something happening for every member of the family at this large Dutchess County facility, including: Open freestyle sessions for advanced figure skaters, six days a week; advanced freestyle classes; learn to skate programs for kids, teens, and adults; Mommy & Me skating classes; Sticks n’ Pucks open hockey sessions; speed skating clinics; birthday parties; Dutchess Figure Skating Club; a pro shop; ice hockey lessons; and Friday Nite DJ Skate.

Mohonk
Mohonk Mountain House, New Paltz.
845-256-2776; www.mohonk.com/recreation/ice_skating.cfm
Open through early April. Call for schedule and pricing information.
This unique open-sided pavilion ice rink features wooden roof beams, stone columns, and a statuesque 39-foot stone fireplace. Birthday parties, lessons, skating exhibitions, curling, broomball, and a skate shop are offered.
ICE SKATING (CONTINUED)

Conway Ice Rink
Hudson Valley Community College, Troy.
518-629-4850;
www.hvcc.edu/facilities/ice.html
Open through March 13, 2011. Adults $3, children (2-17) & seniors (65 and up) $2. Skate rental $3. Public sessions: Mon.-Fri. 12-2 p.m., Sat.-Sun. 4-6:15 p.m.
This Capital Region facility has 18,000 square feet of ice. Learn to skate programs for beginners and intermediate skaters are offered through the college, along with weekend and evening skating lessons, a skate shop, and birthday parties. Group discounts are available.

Brewster Ice Arena
Brewster. 845-279-2229;
www.brewstericearena.com
Open year-round. Adults $7, children (under 12) $5. Skate rental $3. Public sessions: Daily, check Web site for seasonal schedule information.
This massive northern Westchester ice mecca is open all year and has three separate ice rinks, a restaurant, and a gym, among many other amenities: a skating school with hockey clinics, group lessons, Future Rangers Beginner Hockey and Mini-Mite program, birthday parties, the Skating Club of Brewster, Recreational In-House and Travel Hockey Teams for adults and teens, Players Restaurant & Bar, and a pro shop.

Ice Time Sports Complex
Newburgh. 845-567-0005;
www.icetimesports.com
Open year-round. Adults $8, children (5-12) $5. Skate rental $3. Public sessions: Tues. & Thurs. 11 a.m.-1 p.m.; Wed. 3:45-4:45 p.m.; Fri. 7:15-9 p.m.; Sat. 2-5:30 p.m.; Sun. 2-3:45 p.m.
This Newburgh sports facility runs skating programs all year. Don’t miss their Annual Holiday Showcase, Dec. 11, 6-8 p.m. Available activities include adult open hockey, birthday parties, learn to skate programs for children and adults, figure skating freestyle sessions, the Hudson Valley Figure Skating Club, youth and adult hockey programs and clinics, Sticks n’ Pucks, the Rink Side Sports Café, and a pro shop.

Windham Mountain Adventure Park
Windham. 518-734-6974;
www.windhammountain.com/
mountain/skating
Open through March 21, 2011. Adults $10.
Skate rental $5. Public sessions: Daily, 10 a.m.-12 p.m., 1-3 p.m., 4-6 p.m., and 7-9 p.m.
This quaint open air skating area is located right near Windham’s famous snow tubing. Warm up next to the open-air fire pit.

Skiers at Windham Mountain can take their pick from almost 50 trails, then defrost over a good meal in one of the many onsite restaurants

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